Earlier this year in January, the city of Long Beach, CA, adopted a local ordinance which would reach the State’s mandatory $15 an hour minimum wage one year ahead of California’s schedule for medium and large businesses. Under the proposal, the minimum wage in Long Beach would increase to $10.50 at the beginning of January 2017, $12 an hour on January 1, 2018, and incrementally rise by $1 each year until it reaches $15 an hour in 2021. Although the council also voted to assess the economic impacts of the wage increases in 2019, the last two scheduled increases in 2020 and 2021 would continue if the study found beneficial impacts to the economy. Long Beach City Mayor, Robert Garcia, stated “An increased minimum wage will stimulate our economy and help many families who struggle to make ends meet. I believe every worker in our city deserves a living wage.”
Last month, however, the city decided to slow the city’s originally proposed wage increase schedule and adopt California’s schedule proposed in SB3 signed by Governor Jerry Brown in April. This means that the last minimum wage hike of $15 an hour would be reached 2022 rather than 2021. The city also removed the original ordinance’s provision calling for an economic assessment study in 2019.
Senior vice president of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce states “Business in Long Beach needs a chance to compete with neighboring cities such as Lakewood, Seal Beach, Cypress, Los Alamitos, Torrance, Carson and the many others that have no plans to adopt a local minimum wage increase and deviate from the state. Allow our business community to compete locally by adopting the statewide minimum wage policy.”
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